Gaming CEOs optimistic despite persistent industry challenges

Gaming industry CEOs have expressed optimism about the industry’s continued growth and recovery despite persistent challenges.

The American Gaming Association’s (AGA) Gaming Industry Outlook, which surveys 24 executives of US and international gaming companies, tribal gaming operators, single-unit casino operators, major gaming equipment suppliers, and major iGaming and/or sports betting operators, found that two-thirds of respondents (67 per cent) rate the current business situation as “good”, up from 54 per cent six months ago.

Meanwhile, four in 10 CEOs (42 per cent) expect the industry’s business climate to improve over the next two quarters, compared to 13 per cent that expect business conditions to worsen.

“Gaming executives are signaling confidence in our continued recovery that is in line with record-setting consumer demand for gaming,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller. “I’m optimistic that 2022 will see the return of a true sense of normalcy for gaming.”

Concerns persist

However, while gaming CEOs are generally positive about the industry’s economic outlook, they also report concerns over some impediments to business growth, including:

  • Supply chain issues (75 per cent)
  • Inflationary and interest rate concerns (67 per cent)
  • Labour shortages (54 per cent)

While some these are unsurprising, particularly as inflation hits record highs across North America, it i snotale that COVID-19 itself is no longer among the top five concerns for gaming CEOs.

The Current Conditions Index found that the gaming industry has grown at an annualized pace of approximately 16.5 per cent over the last three quarters.

Meanwhile, the vast majority of gaming CEOs surveyed (79 per cent) expect the pace of wage and benefit growth to increase over the next three-to-six months, while 50 per cent expect the pace of hiring to increase.

When it comes to future investment, 53 per cent of gaming operators surveyed plan to invest more capital than normal in hotel facilities in the coming year, while about one-third plan to invest more than normal in slots on the casino floor (27 per cent) and brick-and-mortar sportsbooks (33 per cent).

Meanwhile, 100 per cent of suppliers expect sales of gaming units for new or expansion use to rise; 86 per cent expect sales of gaming units for replacement use to rise; and 71 per cent expect the pace of their capital investment to rise.

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